Claire Caborn shares how she tries to celebrate diversity through her company’s brand reps.
It’s funny how, sometimes in life, extraordinary things just happen: a chance meeting, an idea or a surprising opportunity. That’s exactly what happened to me in January 2017. I’d reached a crossroads in my career and was contemplating what to do next. One evening, a thought literally jumped into my head that would see me on the most incredible journey: I was going to open a baby and nursery shop.
At the start, I found myself immersed in research for quality baby and nursery products that were full of loveliness and were ethically and sustainably sourced. It was all-consuming and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. However, it quickly became apparent that, no matter how many websites and brochures I looked at, there was a sector of our society that was not represented. Not once did I see a baby or a child with differing abilities or even, for that matter, a hearing aid or a pair of glasses! Where were the children with Down’s syndrome? Where were the children in wheelchairs? Where were the children with any condition that sets them apart? There was simply no diversity. I know there are some brands who positively promote diversity and they should be applauded, but they are few and far between.
Then it occurred to me that I too had been party to this indifference. I had looked through many catalogues over the years and had failed to notice the people that were missing from their pages.
A year or so on and I decided that I needed to promote my brand. A new phrase ‘brand rep’ came to mind. I know my values, and Daisy Tree has a very clear ethos about the brands it represents, but I worried how I was going to find a range of children to represent my brand. If large companies fail to ensure equal representation, how on earth would a small company like mine? Turns out it was easy; I was inundated with a glorious and diverse mix of babies and children. I could represent the unrepresented and promote diversity in the hope that others would follow.
I love Quality Streets – I like the purple ones, the strawberry ones, the orange cremes and the toffees. They all look different yet they are all the same, living happily together in one box. The Oxford English Dictionary defines diversity as “a range of different things. A variety. An assortment. A mixture.” Much like my favourite box of sweets.
Daisy Tree is a fourth baby to me. I love it for all its imperfections! The shop is rarely seen as it’s located in the middle of nowhere, but the people who do notice it love it and return again and again. Much like my perfectly imperfect shop, there is a sector of our society that is sometimes rarely seen when they should be. I am therefore delighted that Daisy Tree is represented by a mix, a variety, a range of babies and children. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We are all human beings living together in our perfectly imperfect world.
Claire Caborn lives in rural Aberdeenshire and is a wife and mama to three children. She has worked with children extensively over the years in schools and nurseries. She is passionate about children’s wellbeing and now runs an independent bricks-and-mortar baby and nursery shop focusing on safe products ethically and sustainably sourced.
This article was originally published in JUNO Spring 2020, issue 66
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